PORTLAND, Maine – Maine cannabis lovers will probably be able to buy their favorite products in stores by March 2020, after years of waiting. Voters approved the legalization of adult cannabis during the November 2016 vote, and the road to legal sales was long and chaotic.
But a key amendment adopted by the state has come into force, as the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy is now in a position to complete the final adoption of cannabis regulation, said David Heidrich, spokesman for the office.
The amendment changed the Maine law on the legalization of cannabis, a procedure necessary for the Maine cannabis office to initiate regulation, which it should do within 2 months. He will probably be able to accept applications for cannabis sales licenses by the end of 2019, Heidrich said.
The state will need time to process the requests, and retailers will also need local agreements but the state expects the first cannabis sales by March 15, Heidrich said. The speed with which applications are approved may depend on the degree of completion of the files, he said.
“We won’t know until we get requests. We may receive requests from someone who has prepared everything and whose municipality is aligned and is about to give them a local authorization,” said Heidrich.
The marketing of cannabis in Maine has been slowed down, notably by a dispute over the hiring of a key consultant, and by opposition to the legalization of former Governor Paul LePage.
However, the result is a process that will finally protect the health and safety of the public,” said Scott Gagnon, who led a campaign against legalization and has since had a role in one of the state commissions on cannabis.
“From a public health perspective, the pace has been slower, with more deliberations than in some states,” said Gagnon. “I think it was necessary. »
David Boyer, an independent consultant to the cannabis industry in Maine, said it was “disappointing that adults still have no place to buy legal cannabis in Maine”, but that the finish line is in sight.